Bird Dog

I volunteer for a hospital a couple of days a week. It is a really old hospital. The city is going to tear down the old part or some such bullshit, earthquake retrofit, or destroy some more beauty in the name of safety and progress. I walk up and down the halls fetching mail, playing bird dog (taking patients here and there), and getting supplies. I walk the long old part of the hospital and think this will one day be gone. I can practically make myself cry. I think about getting some anti-depressants. The halls are very long and very white with old hand blown glass arched windows, looking out on ancient Redwood trees they will probably feel the need to knock down too.

Sometimes I see lost people and walk them to where they need to go. I know you are thinking why don’t you give them directions and send them on their way. It doesn’t work like that. It’s a hospital and the people are so stressed, you can’t tell them how to get anywhere. You have to take them. You have to walk with them. I have learned this. You have to be calm and talk to them calmly. If they talk, you let them talk and do not interrupt them, even if they are speaking Spanish and you can only understand 2 out of ever 10 words they are saying. When they pause, you nod your head.

Some days I don’t bird dog for any people. Yesterday there were 2.

1. Older Hispanic Lady. I could only understand 4 out of 10 words she said. She was upset. She needed to go to a weirdo wing of the hospital. It is confusing because the hospital literally goes like this: C, B, A, E then shoots down a hallway across the magic bridge to the V side of a whole ‘nother builder. She was really upset because she had been in the E dentist and was trying to get to the V building and had logically assumed you walk to A, B, C. Wrong. You have to drop a floor and go backward. I bird dogged her to V building. She talked the whole way. I couldn’t understand jack. She thanked me a lot. People always thank the bird dog a lot. Bird dog services are odd in that you get thanked a lot.

2. Caucasian man by K elevators. This man was disoriented with a bloody gash on his neck, plus he looked like he had been wrestling with a dust mop. I asked if he was lost. He nodded and said he needed to go to the emergency room. I thought he needed to get his neck patched, which was dribbling blood. Nope. He confided in the elevator his hand was all messed up. He showed it to me, but my vision was hinky. All I could see was a fleshy blue mess and bent fingers. I escorted him to the ER, and told him to wait on the green line for the triage nurse. He did not. I backed him up and tried again and held onto him that time. I asked if he understood. He nodded. I asked him if the bird dog needed to wait with him. No. He was very grateful.

People like bird dog services. Wish I could do that full time. Dogs have a good life. Everybody likes them until they vomit on the oriental carpet.


3 Responses to “Bird Dog”

  1. CD, good on you. Maybe they’ll remember it and do somehing similar someday.

  2. CD, we’re taking a brief vacation for a week. See you when we get back.


  3. have a good time…

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